Little Learners’ 4 schools join new parent organization Busy Bees

Little Learners, a well-respected preschool and childcare entity with four locations in New Jersey, has been sold to Busy Bees, an international early education provider.

The confidential sale of the schools and their real estate was led by HINGE Early Education Advisors.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to sell these schools that we love. However, we are confident it is the best move for our children, families, teachers and staff,” Milan Patel, co-owner of Little Learners, said. “As part of a larger organization that’s known as one of the top providers globally, they will have unmatched resources and many more exciting opportunities for growth.”

Patel initially acquired two centers in Rockaway and Budd Lake in 2015 under the guidance of child care investor Chirag Patel. Together, they expanded the organization by acquiring a school in Elmer with Child Care Director Camille Banks in 2021 and adding a fourth school in Kenvil with Child Care Director Laura Enriquez in 2022.

“I have invested in many different industries throughout my career, and there’s nothing quite like early learning where your business has a higher purpose. This purpose comes with the responsibility of recognizing a good opportunity when you see it,” Chirag Patel, who owned, operated and sold another preschool prior to Little Learners, said. “When that opportunity means selling, the key is finding an adviser who will keep your school’s values front and center, attract competitive offers from multiple buyers, and broker a deal that helps all parties win. This is exactly why we brought in HINGE Advisors.”

HINGE transaction adviser Rich Hubschman, Transaction Manager Carrie Pergerson, financial analyst Rusty Bailey and Marketing Coordinator Marissa Webster handled the sale from start to finish, including confidential marketing, due diligence, offer evaluations, contract negotiations and the transaction closing.

“Our extremely competitive process enabled us to deliver rewarding outcomes all around,” Hubschman said. “Being entrusted to help Little Learners and their owners move onto their next chapters was a privilege. We wish Milan, Chirag, Camille and Laura all the best in their next ventures and are pleased to have completed another successful transaction with the Busy Bees North America team.”

As part of his next endeavor, Chirag Patel has joined the HINGE Advisors team as a development specialist. Leaning on more than 15 years of child care experience, as well as a strong background in acquisitions, investments, real estate, expansion and consulting, he now helps other child care owners run profitable businesses and identity appropriate growth and exit strategies.